Sometime in the couple of days after Christmas, Catie started coughing. She has asthma and gets these kinds of things a lot, but it usually passes after a day or two, so I didn’t worry too much.
Then one night she crawled into bed next to me, and she felt like she was on fire. MAJOR fever. I don’t even remember the last time she had a fever like this. I mean, yes she has asthma, but she’s generally a pretty healthy kid. She hasn’t been on antibiotics since she was in diapers.
The next couple of days, I tried to keep her comfortable. Motrin, lots of fluids, all of that. The cough was the worst – it would wake her up crying multiple times per night.
The Friday before New Year’s, I took her to the pediatrician. Our normal doctor was out, so they squeezed us in with the nurse practitioner. She listened to Catie’s chest & said her lungs sounded totally clear. She diagnosed her with a “classic virus,” and she sent us on our way.
New Year’s weekend, Catie got progressively worse. She’d cry every time she coughed. She was absolutely miserable. At one point, she yelled, “I’m tired of being sick, because being sick is stupid!!” Yes, baby girl, it IS stupid, and I’m sorry.
Something about it set off my Mommy Instinct. I knew something was really wrong with her. The doctor’s office was closed on Monday, but I spoke with the off-duty nurse, who gave me some tips for keeping her comfortable (i.e., albuterol every 4 hours even though she wasn’t wheezing – just to keep her airways open & fend off the coughing), and told us to see the doctor the next day.
We were back at the doctor on Tuesday when they opened, and this time we saw our normal pediatrician, who I love. She immediately saw that Catie had a double ear infection. When she listened to her chest, she said, “Well, it sounds clear, but you can’t tell with asthmatic kids. I’m going to send her for a chest x-ray just to be safe.” So, uhh, slightly different than what the nurse practitioner had said?
We went downstairs to the radiology office, and I had to hand off Lucy to a random nurse so I could put on the lead apron and stay with Catie for her x-ray. Catie was a trooper, but I could hear Lucy screaming her damn head off in the hall the whole time, so it was not exactly a fun experience.
The verdict is that, besides the double ear infection (which explains why she cries every time she coughs – the pressure in her ears must make her head feel like it’s going to explode, poor kid), she also has a mild case of pneumonia. Luckily it isn’t so severe that we have to go to the hospital, we’re treating it at home with antibiotics and oral steroids.
My poor baby. Obviously, this was not exactly how we envisioned kicking off our new year.
The kicker is that Catie spends five days a week at daycare, and she almost never gets sick. Her one week off when daycare is closed for the holidays? This happens. Unbelievable.